Classics: Abstract Truth – Get Another Plan (Extended) (Streetwave Music)
Get another plan? I’d rather let you deciding. As for me, no need doing so even more than 20 years after its release. No more than trying another mix of it with no offense intended to those who happened to rework it. As the extended original mix is just the one for me. As it obviously happened to be for Patrick Forge who included it on the vol. 7 of his famous ‘The Rebirth Of Cool’ series of commpilations.
Monique Bingham just delivers a standout performance, with lyrics speakin’ for themselves. Meanwhile fellow band member Robert Dana Vlcek just spiced up the whole with the right ingredients at the right place. Givin’ it a refreshing Nu-Jazz feel. From its rhythm pattern flirting with Drum & Bass. To some atmospheric key parts over a blowing rounded bassline courtesy of Jephté Guillaume. Not to mention the horns left care of Ravi Hassan Best (trumpet) and Vincent Chancey (French horn).
Get another plan? I suppose you’ve guessed it. No way!
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– Abstract Truth saw the light back in the mid 90’s in NYC. At a time when a whole bunch of local Acid Jazz musicians came to flirt with House Music. The band comprised Dana Vlcek, Ravi Best, and Vincent Chauncey. But also Jephté Guillaume, Guy Daniels, and Pete Mark around singer Monique Bingham.
Signed on François K‘s Streetwave label, they released two remarkable singles. The first – ‘Get Another Plan’ (the title track from their album of the likes) – back in 1996 with mixing and additional production work by the likes of François K and Eric Kupper. The second – ‘We Had A Thing’ – 2 years after – with remixes courtesy of Matthias Heilbronn and Jay Denes.
– Monique Bingham has delivered some of the most poignant soulful Jazz-infused House Music gems of the past 20 years…
Her career began with Acid Jazz band Abstract Truth in 1995 at François K‘s Axis studios. The first single, ‘Get Another Plan’, received international critical acclaim. Gilles Peterson eventually pickin’ it up for his UK imprint, Talkin’ Loud, the year after.
Its follow up, ‘We Had A Thing’, which she penned and performed, is another indisputable Soulful Jazz House classic. A gem that owes a lot to Matthias Heilbronn’s infectious remixing work.
Once injected into the veins of the underground, Ms. Bingham’s penchant for painstakingly crafted lyrics put her in a class by herself. In addition to her work with Abstract Truth she went on to solo performances with Blue Six. But also Sir Piers (cf. the recent ‘American In Chelsea’), Studio Apartment and Liquid People.
She has also worked with some of the House scene’s most respected DJ’s/producers… Quentin Harris, Kerri Chandler, and Ralf GUM. Her writing skills brought her to the attention of Jellybean Benitez. The latter signing her to his NYC publishing house in 2008.
In 2009 and 2010 she released songs with Karizma and Osunlade. Then with Phil Asher and Bah Samba.
In 2011, Monique completed her first self-produced single, ‘You.Me.World’. A song which she released on her own record label, Bigga Sounds. That same year also saw her coming for the first time to South Africa. There she performed at the 12th annual Capetown International Jazz Festival. Sharing a bill with luminaries such as Wayne Shorter and Earth, Wind & Fire! Subsequent tours throughout S.A., Botswana and Lesotho have confirmed her as one the country’s most respected underground artists.
Her 2012 collaboration with Ralf GUM, ‘Take Me To My Love’, turned into a runaway hit worldwide. It garnered 500,000 plus YouTube hits as of this writing. She also happened to be the first ever non-South African artist to perform live for a television audience of over 10 million viewers. This was at the 12th annual Metro FM Awards in 2013 where her song, ‘Pride’. A performance which helped DJ Pepsi snag the award for House Album of the year.
In 2014, Monique came to collaborate with one of the world’s greatest living Jazz legends, “Bra” Hugh Masakela. She therefore penned ‘With Her Hand’ along with Ralf GUM for his sophomore album, ‘In My City’. A song about about the late human rights icon Nelson Mandela passing in the presence of Winnie Mandela. The latest single release with Ralf GUM, ‘The Pap’, received international critical acclaim too. And it reinforced her love of and contribution to South Africa’s explosive House Music scene.
Monique celerated her 2 decades in the recording industry back in 2015 with the release of ‘Best Of Last’. An anthology featuring a host of classic and rare tracks as well as new music. From ‘Deep In The Bottom (Of Africa)’ with Black Coffee. To ‘Gets You Off’ with remix courtesy of Rocco. And also Chymamusique‘s reinterpretation of ‘Bloody Lucky’ to name a few.
Monique Bingham remains one of the most interesting and enduring artists the New York City underground has ever produced. “It’s weird. After 20 years of making music and being on the road, I almost feel like I’m just getting started. I have so much more to say and in some ways I’m more excited now than I was back in ’95. The future is wide open.” she says…